Like historians, mathematical theories can only «at every given
time» describe a universe of past mathematical objects, while this
interpretation itself «happens» in a mathematical present outside
this universe.
Even if describing «the universe of all mathematical objects»
(model of set theory), means describing everything, this
«everything» that is described, is only at any time the current
universe, the one of our past ; our act of interpreting
expressions there, forms our present beyond this past. And then,
describing our previous act of description, means adding to this
previous description (this «everything» described) something else
beyond it.
As explained in 1.7, some theories (such as model theory, and set theory from which it can be developed) are actually able to describe themselves: they can describe in each model a system looking like a copy of the same theory, with a notion of "all its formulas" (including objects that are copies of its own formulas). However then, according to the Truth Undefinability theorem, no single formula (invariant predicate) can ever give the correct boolean values to all object copies of ground formulas, in conformity with the values of these formulas in the same model.
Let us assume a fixed choice of a theory T describing a set ℕ of natural numbers as part of its model M.This infinite time between theories, will develop as an endless hierarchy of infinities.
Let H be the set of formulas of T with one free variable intended to range over this ℕ, and shorter than (for example) 1000 occurrences of symbols (taken from the finite list of symbols of T, logical symbols and variables).
Consider the formula of T' with one free variable n ranging over ℕ, expressed as
∀F∈H, F(n) ⇒ (∃k<n, F(k))This formula cannot be false on more than one number per formula in H, which are only finitely many (an explicit bound of their number can be found). Thus it must be true on some numbers.
If it was equivalent to some formula B∈H, we would get∀n∈ℕ, B(n) ⇔ (∀F∈H, F(n) ⇒ (∃k<n, F(k))) ⇒ (∃k<n, B(k))
contradicting the existence of a smallest n on which B is true.
The number 1000 was picked in case translating this formula into T was complicated, ending up in a big formula B, but still in H. If it was so complicated that 1000 symbols didn't suffice, we could try this reasoning starting from a higher number. Since the existence of an equivalent formula in H would anyway lead to a contradiction, no number we might pick can ever suffice to find one. This shows the impossibility to translate such formulas of T' into equivalent formulas of T, by any method much more efficient than the kind of mere enumeration suggested above.
Each example can be seen in two ways:
And in each example, a physical measure of the «cost» to
approach and eventually reach the targeted end, decides its «true»
interpretation, according to whether this cost would be finite or
infinite, which may differ from the first guess of a naive
observer.
But the world of mathematics, free from all physical costs and
where objects only play conventional roles, can accept both
interpretations.
Set theory and
Foundations of mathematics 

1. First foundations of mathematics  Philosophical aspects ⇦ 
1.1. Introduction
to the foundations of mathematics 1.2. Variables, sets, functions and operations 
Intuitive representation and
abstraction
Platonism vs Formalism 
1.3. Form of theories: notions, objects, metaobjects 
Realistic vs. axiomatic
theories

1.4. Structures of mathematical systems 1.5. Expressions and definable structures 
Time in model
theory
The time of interpretation of expressions
The metaphor of the usual time 
1.6. Logical
connectives 1.7. Classes in set theory 
The infinite time between
theories
The Berry paradox Zeno's Paradox 
1.8. Binders in set theory 
Expansion of the set
theoretical universe
Can a set contain itself ? 
1.9. Quantifiers 
The relative sense of open
quantifiers
Interpretation
of classesClasses in an expanding
universe
Concrete examples 
1.10. Formalization
of set theory 1.11. Set generation principle 
Justifying the set
generation principle
Concepts of truth in mathematics Alternative logical
frameworks
